If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. First up to be inducted to the Hustle Hall of Fame is former member of the Buffalo Bulls, Tori Speckman.
When we dreamt up the Hustle Hall of Fame, many of us were worried that we would trend toward the revenue sports or have a tremendous recency bias. Tori Speckman, of the Buffalo Bulls shows that success and HHoF inclusion is far from limited to just football or basketball.
The thing about the Hustle Hall of Fame is that it is fan driven. Sure, we created it and managed it, but the nominees came from fans. Fans voted on who was to be inducted. Fans got to decide. Fans made their case. And the case for Tori Speckman was made succinctly and convincingly by user TawJackson:
One name that I’d like to see included here is softball’s Tori Speckman, who owns 2 of the 4 no-hitters that have ever been thrown in program history. IMHO, the greatest softball Bull of all-time. Single-handedly carried the 2014 team all the way to the MAC championship final. That entire 2014 tournament (and, really, the entire 2014 season) was one of the greatest single individual efforts I have ever seen by an athlete. The 2014 team went 11-5 in the MAC (good for 1st in the MAC East). Without her pitching, they’d have been lucky to go 5-11. It was BY FAR the best season in UB softball history. The team never came so close before, and likely never will again.
That’s what makes this Hall of Fame so special. Being a fan of a MAC program is challenging at times. There’s revenue restrictions, there’s scheduling issues, there’s prestige problems. But at the core of all of it is a committed group of staff and student athletes supported by a committed group of fans and supporters. It’s what makes the MAC different and what makes the Hustle Hall of Fame so authentic.
For her Buffalo career, she appeared in 143 games, starting 95 of them, 54 of them complete games. Over the course of her four seasons, she would have a 3.07 ERA and strike out 530 while walking only 194.
Congrats to Tori Speckman on her induction to the Hustle Hall of Fame!